Hello everyone!  Welcome to another Modern Musings!  Today we are going to talk about Mythic Championship IV and talk a little bit about what you should be playing walking into Magic Fest Las Vegas.

Mythic Championship IV

Going into Mythic Championship IV I’ll admit I thought that Hogaak was going to dominate despite the banning of Bridge from Below.  As it turns out, I was right.  Basically, Hogaak boasted about a 6% higher win rate than the next 4 most-played decks despite the fact that it was well known Hogaak was going to be the boogeyman of the tournament.  So why didn’t we see more Hogaak in the top 8?  To quote Frank Karston:

“The reason is that the Hogaak players with the best Modern records did poorly in draft. Even though Hogaak players as a group had an above-average win rate in draft collectively, the Hogaak players with excellent draft records did poorly in Modern, and vice versa. The exception was Top 8 competitor Martin Müller—the only Hogaak player to excel in both Limited and Constructed.”

With this taken into account, it seems to me that it was basically a stroke of luck that a significant chunk of top 8 wasn’t Hogaak decks.  Knowing this, the question then becomes: does something need to be done about this deck again?

Bannings?

Banning something right now would be quite awkward for Wizards of the Coast right now as they don’t have a scheduled ban until the release of Throne of Eldraine.  This means that for Magic Fest Las Vegas, save any emergency bans (which is highly unlikely), we must deal with the walking necropolis for a bit longer.  But what if the ban announcement were tomorrow?  What card or cards should they hit?

Personally this is what I’d like to see:

Banned:

  • Faithless Looting
  • Ancient Stirrings

Unbanned:

Reasoning:

Faithless Looting – The card does far too much for too little.  Most notably it turbocharges graveyard strategies, often allowing them to pull off their strategy long before the opponent can react with graveyard hate.  Which consequently is why Leyline of the Void has become such an important card in the past few months.  Hogaak isn’t the only deck that is powered by this card though, as Arclight Phoenix decks have been a problem for a while now because of Looting.  Looting is the glue that binds some of the most unfair decks together and it is long past time it sees the ban-hammer.

Ancient Stirrings – Stirrings has been a controversial card for quite a long time.  It powers some of the most degenerate decks, including both Tron and Hardened Scales.  Realistically, in any deck this card is played in, it lets you take the best card out of the top 5.  Considering both Ponder and Preordain are considered too good for Modern, and they only let you look at the top 2-3 cards, it’s a wonder Stirrings hasn’t been banned yet.  There is a strong chance that if Looting were to be banned, the format would become all Stirrings decks, therefore, if Looting goes, then Stirrings has to go as well.

Stoneforge Mystic – With many games effectively ending on turn 2 – 3, it’s fair to say that a turn 3 Batterskull is not particularly as scary as it once was.  The only reason that this card is still probably banned is because it might create a certain ubiquity among white decks, making them all Stoneforge decks.

Magic Fest Las Vegas

So since we know that there isn’t going to be a ban between now and Magic Fest Vegas, what are your best options for playing the tournament? Here are my picks for the best decks going into the tournament:

Honorable Mentions:

Jund – While not an unreasonable pick, Jund has traditionally had a tough time against Tron, and given that it won the pro tour I expect Tron will be out in force for the Magic Fest, making Jund probably not the best of choices.

Hardened Scales – While it was in the finals of the Championship, overall this deck is probably not the best of choices with so many Leyline of the Voids running around.  The card stops modular triggers as well as Hangarback Walker making it so you can’t really do any Arcbound Ravager shenanigans.

Boariyo’s Vengeance – I actually don’t hate this choice honestly and would be my #7 pick for the deck to play.  This is a really strong linear combo deck that tends to go off unbelievably early.  The big downside to this deck is that it is a graveyard deck, and hate for graveyards is at an all-time high.

W/U Control – This is my #6 choice, very solid, beats a good deal of the metagame, but struggles against a good number of decks preboard.

5. Humans – Humans remains a good choice going into this tournament, they have a solid matchup with most of the field, but do have a difficult matchup against Tron

4. Eldrazi Tron – Eldrazi Tron is more of a vessel for Chalice of the Void at this point and remains a strong option with the addition of Karn, the Great Creator giving the deck a hard lock via Mycosynth Lattice.

3. Izzet Phoenix – Izzet Phoenix was the original problem deck of the Modern format and a fine choice with reasonable match-ups against most of the top decks.  Thing in the Ice // Awoken Horror allows you to best even the most annoying creature matchups.

2. Mono Green Tron – Mono Green Tron won the latest Mythic Championship and is generally a reasonable choice against much of the field.  Turn-3 Karn is pretty hard for a lot of decks to beat, and a resolved Ugin is just game over for many creature decks.  The addition of mainboard Relic of Progenitus helped the deck stave off the swarm of graveyard decks present at the championship.

1. Hogaak Dredge –  If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. Hogaak Dredge posted the overall best winrate out of any deck and is ultimately going to get hit with the ban-hammer again.  If you don’t play this deck you better be sure you can beat it, because it will be out in force at the MagicFest.

 

Anyway, that’s all for this week, If you’re playing in Magic Fest Las Vegas, I’ll see you there!

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